Blackmagic Design URSA 4K v1 Digital Cinema Camera (Canon EF Mount)

Blackmagic Design URSA 4K v1 Digital Cinema Camera (Canon EF Mount)

Blackmagic Design URSA 4K v1 Digital Cinema Camera (Canon EF Mount)

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Product Highlights

  • 3840 x 2160p Global Shutter CMOS Sensor
  • 12 Stops of Dynamic Range
  • 10.1", 1080p Flip-Out LCD Screen
  • Dual 5" Touchscreens for Menu Access
  • Records CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes
  • 12G-SDI Output for 10-Bit 4:2:2 4K
  • 2x XLR Audio Inputs with Phantom Power
  • Aluminum Frame with 3/8"-16 Mounting
  • LANC Port for START/STOP, Iris, Focus
  • Dual CFast 2.0 Card Slots
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Blackmagic Design URSA 4K Overview

  • 1Description

The URSA 4K v1 Digital Cinema Camera with active EF Mount from Blackmagic Design features a form factor that is designed to make it flexible enough to use on productions of all sizes. From a single operator all the way up to a full camera crew. At the heart of the imaging system, URSA 4K features a 3840 x 2160p resolution, global shutter CMOS sensor with 12 stops of dynamic range. The camera records and outputs in the 2160p format, a 16:9 standard with precisely four times the resolution of 1080p, often referred to as UltraHD.

Internally, URSA can record in the two formats. The first is 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW, a losslessly compressed RAW codec designed to give you the greatest latitude for image manipulation in post production. The second is Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), a debayered codec for easier playback and editing in a wide range of video editing applications. Additionally, ProRes also requires less storage space for extended recording times. Video is recorded to CFast 2.0 memory cards, and the camera features two slots allowing you to hot swap media for continuous, uninterrupted recording.

URSA features a 10.1", 1080p resolution flip-out LCD screen so that you won't necessarily need an on-camera monitor. Additionally, there are two 5" capacitive touchscreens, one on either side of the body. These allow you to access the menu system and can display data such as timecode and audio waveforms.

So you can edit and color correct your footage, especially footage shot in the CinemaDNG RAW format, URSA includes DaVinci Resolve software dongle for OS X and Windows.

Supports Diverse User Groups
From solo camera operator up to full-scale productions. When used on jobs with a large crew, you can easily dress the camera with high quality cinema lenses, rods, follow focus, matte box, and more. If you're shooting solo, then the large fold out on-set monitor, built in scopes, and internal recorder means you don't need any extra on-set equipment because it's all built into the camera
Design By Department
Each area of the camera has been divided into separate camera operator, camera assistant, and audio engineer work stations. The camera operator station features a large 10" fold out on-set monitor and separate 5 inch screen for settings, camera status, and scopes. The camera assist station features a separate screen for camera settings, status, and scopes. Finally, the audio station features audio meters, controls, and audio connections
Professional Design and Aluminum Construction
URSA features an active cooling system with low noise fan that allows it to achieve higher frame rates for longer while keeping the chassis cool. The machined aluminum design is built to incredibly robust and has been engineered with the possibility it will be handled by lots of people in mind
Super 35-Sized Global Shutter CMOS Sensor
The 4K resolution sensor uses a global shutter so that it will be free from the motion artifacts and flash banding experienced with rolling shutter sensors. It features a wide, 12 stop dynamic range to help ensure detail is retained even in the shadow and highlight portions of the image and to provide more information to work with in color correction. The sensor size makes it possible to recreate the shallow depth of field look popularly associated with film. At this size it is slightly larger than the APS-C DSLR format and will accommodate most lenses that cover an APS-C image circle
Dual CFast 2.0 Card Slots
With two cards slots, it is possible to keep recording indefinitely. Simply switch over to a fresh card in the second slot and then remote the first to offload to a computer or storage device. By using CFast 2.0 media it is possible to record even at the high bitrates demanded by RAW capture without dropping frames
Built-In Scopes
URSA features scopes for exposure, focus, and audio levels. And there is a dedicated screen for camera assistants so they can check and update camera parameters independently of the camera operator
Field Upgradable Sensor
The URSA features a modular camera turret that can be removed by taking out four bolts. The camera turret includes the sensor, lens mount, and lens control connections and can be upgraded in the future when new types of sensors are developed
Broadcast Connections
Standard BNC connectors mean you don't need to worry about custom or proprietary cabling solutions. URSA features a 12G-SDI output that can be down converted to HD or used directly for full Ultra HD 4K quality. There's also a 12G-SDI input that can display return video on the 10" LCD when covering live events or working with external video sources. A separate SDI output that outputs 1080p only is available for attaching EVFs and monitors. For audio, there are two XLR inputs with +48 V phantom power. You also get timecode in and out to help synchronize with other cameras or separate audio recorders
A LANC is provided on a 2.5 mm sub mini connector. It allows you to control record START/STOP, iris, and focus
Supports Standard Battery Plates
Your choice of Gold Mount or V-Mount battery plates can be attached directly to the back of the camera. Alternatively, there is a 4-pin XLR input so you can use a power supply or other DC power source. The URSA also features a 4-pin XLR power output so you can power a camera mounted 12V accessory without needing an additional battery
Lots of Mounting Points
The top of the camera features a number of 3/8"-16 tapped holes so you can attach articulating arms and other mounting accessories. There are also 1/4"-20 holes along the top of the removable handle. In addition, there is a mount for 15mm LWS-spaced rods built-in to the bottom of the camera. By adding a pair of standard 15mm rods you can add accessories such as follow focus and matte box. A V-lock delta interface allows the camera to be attached to tripods using an ENG-style quick release system such as the VCT-14
Software Included
  • DaVinci Resolve grading software including Resolve USB dongle for Mac OS X and Windows
  • Blackmagic Media Express software
  • Blackmagic Disk Speed Test
In the Box
Blackmagic Design URSA 4K v1 Digital Cinema Camera (Canon EF Mount)
  • Active EF Mount
  • Lens Port Dust Cap
  • 12V AC Adapter
  • DaVinci Resolve and Dongle
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Blackmagic Design URSA 4K Specs

    Size 21.12 x 11.88 mm (Super35)
    Lens Mount Active Canon EF Mount
    Effective Resolution 3840 x 2160 (UltraHD 4K)
    Dynamic Range 12 stops
    Shooting Resolutions 3840 x 2160, 1920 x 1080
    Supported Frame Rates 30 fps in RAW
    80 fps in RAW 3:1
    80 fps in ProRes HD or ProRes UHD
    Project frame rates of 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps supported
    Dimensions 1 x 10.1" diagonal
    2 x 5" diagonal
    Screen Type 10.1": TFT-LCD
    5": Integrated LCD capacitive touchscreen
    Resolution 10.1": 1920 x 1080
    5": 800 x 480
    Media Card Slots 2 x CFast 2.0
    Recording Formats Lossless CinemaDNG RAW and RAW 3:1 with film dynamic range at 4000 x 2160. Apple ProRes 444, ProRes 422 HQ, 422, 422 LT and 422 Proxy at 3840 x 2160 and 1920 x 1080 with either film or video dynamic range
    Data Rates 1320 Mbps using Apple ProRes 444 at 3840 x 2160
    880 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 HQ at 3840 x 2160
    589 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 at 3840 x 2160
    410 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 LT at 3840 x 2160
    182 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 Proxy at 3840 x 2160
    330 Mbps using Apple ProRes 444 at 1920 x 1080
    220 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 HQ at 1920 x 1080
    147 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 at 1920 x 1080
    102 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 LT at 1920 x 1080
    45 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 Proxy at 1920 x 1080

    Approx 265 MB/s using CinemaDNG RAW at 4000 x 2160
    Approx 125 MB/s using CinemaDNG RAW 3:1

    Note: Storage rates calculated at 30 frames per second
    Metadata Support Automatic camera data and user data such as shot number, filenames, and keywords
    Output 1 x 12G-SDI -- 10-bit 4:2:2
    1 x 3G-SDI -- down-converted signal for monitoring
    Input 1 x 12G-SDI
    Reference 1 x Reference input
    Timecode 1 x Timecode input
    1 x Timecode output
    Analog Audio Inputs 2 x XLR -- selected mic/line level and +48 V phantom power
    Analog Audio Output 1 x 1/4" TRS -- for headphone monitoring
    SDI Audio Output 2-channel via SDI output
    Remote Control 1 x LANC on 2.5 mm sub-mini -- controls record START/STOP, iris, and focus
    USB 1 x USB 2.0 mini type B for software updates
    Supported Standards SDI Compliance: SMPTE 292M
    SDI Audio Sampling: 48 kHz and 24-bit
    Microphone Integrated mono microphone
    Speaker Integrated mono microphone
    Controls Touch screen menus on 5" screen; push button controls for navigating menus
    Mounting Options Multiple 1/4"-20 UNC thread mounting on top of camera and on handle bar; multiple 3/8"-16 UNC thread on top of camera body; rosette on bottom
    Integrated rod mounts compatible with 15mm Light Weight Support (LWS) standard
    System Requirements For DaVinci Resolve: Windows 7 or later or OS X 10.8 or later

    Note: See Blackmagic website for detailed system requirements and configuration guides.
    Power Connectors 1 x 4-pin XLR input for external power supply or battery
    1 x 12 VDC output on 4-pin XLR to power accessories
    Battery Plate Support Mounting holes for V-mount and Gold Mount battery plates
    Operating Temperature 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
    Storage Temperature -4 to 113°F (-20 to 45°C)
    Humidity 0 to 90% RH, non-condensing
    Dimensions 12.3 x 6.1 x 9.6 (31.2 x 15.5 x 24.4 cm)
    Weight 16.52 lb
    Packaging Infoyeedafddabyfycdsdfvvresdvxrayq
    Package Weight 20.8 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 16.6 x 12.0 x 10.2"

    Blackmagic Design URSA 4K Reviews

    URSA 4K v1 Digital Cinema Camera (Canon EF Mount) is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 22.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great STUDIO Camera for now... We just shot 30 interviews over 3 days in studio using the URSA as cam A. As the previous review stated, there are next to no CFast cards out and available to record on the URSA... we rented 2 CFast 128 and recorded at 4K ProRes HQ which gave us 23 min. at 29.9 FPS. The footage is absolutely gorgeous and noise free (400 ASA). Unfortunetaly on day 1, one of the Cfast cards failed and had to be returned to the rental facility... to overcome this since there were no other cards available, we had to purchase and overnight a Hyperdeck Pro from BMD and continue recording the rest of the shoot on 512GB SSD drives! Needless to say that this beast cannot be taken out of the studio just yet!
    Date published: 2014-10-27
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from URSA I'm currently shooting a documentary. I'm excited to use my Black Magic URSA. There isn't a lot known about this new camera yet. I will do tests with it next week. From what I've observed the video is just beautiful. I'm waiting for my Cfast cards to arrive so I can record and view what's been shot. It's gonna take vendors awhile to build the support products to compliment this camera. I wish there was a shoulder mount and battery plates already available. It would have been handy to have a HDMI port on the camera. So many of us still use HDMI EVF's. Otherwise I love this camera.
    Date published: 2014-10-05
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Iris control While reading a review post from another user, I saw that he mentioned no control over the iris. You can adjust the f-stop by pressing and holding the Iris button and pressing the forward/backward button on the side of the monitor (10 inch monitor).
    Date published: 2014-11-12
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Great specs and features but unproven We tried to use this in a corporate environment. Great form factor with the multiple monitors. Highly color correctible footage but only IF and this is the key word...IF it's not locking up on you or not working with their formerly recommended Cfast media which start around $ a pop. Camera is buggy regardless of firmware version (lockups, strange quirks). We've currently bricked $worth of media using our two URSAs. (This is why they're now shipping with their own cards is our guess)Support is slow (you will wait at least an hour on the phone to speak to someone) and once you do reach someone, customer service is indifferent to your serious issues. On paper and in theory, this is one of the best sub $10K 4K cameras you can get but it's simply not ready for a critical deadline driven studio environment.
    Date published: 2015-03-30
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Great form factor, buggy and unreliable The URSA is an excellent concept camera that is simply not mature enough to be a reliable production camera. Fantastic image quality. Mediocre low light performance. HEAVY as heavy can be. The camera itself is buggy and we have found it to be unreliable in a high demanding studio environment. Too many firmware upgrades to fix never ending problems. $ Cfast media that has been getting bricked! Support is very poor.
    Date published: 2015-03-30
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Considering We bought 2 of the URSA's back in November with extremely high hopes of being able to use them in a critically important corporate video environment. On paper, the URSA's really are spec'd out fantastically. But here are some very important reasons not to purchase these cameras.With the URSA's being a new line on a relatively new camera division of the company we expected a few hiccups along the way, but we have been left completely neutered by the URSA's in our ability to be able to deliver important deadline driven projects.The Cfast media that we purchased was on the recommended list of manufacturers on Blackmagic's website. The $ worth of this media we bought for this camera has been completely bricked by the camera. Bricked. Regardless of camera firmware version. After speaking with Blackmagic support (have fun being on hold for an hour to get a hold of anyone) they told us that the manufacturer of the Cfast card admitted fault (after checking, they did not) and we would have to go through them to resolve the issue.Basically, we're sitting on $20K+ worth of unusable camera gear because of quality issues as well as customer support deficiencies. We are not able to meet our critical project track and we've had to revert back to our limited but trusty DSLR's for our productions.There is a plethora of other problems that plague the camera that I won't get into in this review, but please note the media problem is not the only issue that makes this camera problematic.Hopefully, this review will prevent other video pros from this disastrous experience we've had with the URSA's. Do not buy.
    Date published: 2015-03-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thor's Hammer Aside from this camera being so heavy that only Thor himself could lift it, it's an absolutely incredible machine.The image quality far surpasses anything I have seen before and, with the right attachments, there isn't anything you can't tackle with the URSA.I recommend getting a couple Lexar 256GB CFAST 2.0 cards to shoot 4K Raw. Let's face it, if you aren't using the URSA for 4K Raw, you're an idiot for dropping over $. It's also very power hungry when you have it fully equipped so I'd recommend a few 260Wh batteries. One lasts me just over 4 hours of intermittent use.The screens... just wow. Gorgeous touchscreen displays and excellent color. However, when you're outside with this camera on a bright day, bring a comb because you might as well be looking in a mirror.In low light, the URSA doesn't actually do as bad as some suggest. As long as you have the right glass and some decent lighting, you should be all set.Oh, did I mention this thing is heavy? Because it is.
    Date published: 2015-04-16
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from The yin and yang of this machine After waiting since NAB to take delivery on this beast, I am a bit disappointed with a couple of advertised features. First, the XLR audio connectors do not deliver 48v power to work with non-battery powered external mics. My understanding from BMD is this will be corrected with a pending upgrade. The other, more serious, deficiency is the camera does not record CinemaDNG RAW 4K at 60 frames as advertised and as shown in the owners manual. My understanding, also per BMD, is this deficiency will also be corrected with a pending upgrade. In the meantime, the ProRes 422 HQ is delivering pictures far beyond any camera we have previously used, including (all using Canon glass) Panasonic HPX500's, Canon C300s, 5d Mark III's, 1-D C's and Sony's A7R. And it records this quality 4K material on board without the need to export it to an external recorder. I suppose you could discuss the technical aspects of the machine (global shutter, high bit rate, etc.) as the reason for such excellent results but the bottom line is the camera gives us the results we need: beautiful crisp images with life-like colors and no artifacts.I'm not sure where another reviewer is coming from regarding poor low light performance. Of course good daylight or well lit shots are a given, but we have gotten excellent, noiseless results shooting at dusk and in other low ambient light situations using a Canon EF mount CN-E 35mm 1.5 lens. For controlled lighting situations, we use other Canon lenses with the same excellent results.All that being said, this camera is not the perfect machine. Yes, it weighs a ton and is not a run n' gun tool. Yes, it needs a dedicated EVF and a suitable, affordable lens for those hefty enough to do shoulder mounted work. Yes, there need to be more options available for CFast cards. In time maybe all these things will be addressed by BMD and third part vendors. In the meantime, we are delighted with the video this global shutter machine and our Canon glass generates, especially at this price point.
    Date published: 2014-10-30
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